Macau's economy has enjoyed strong growth in recent years on the back of its expanding tourism and gaming sectors. since opening up its locally-controlled casino industry to foreign competition in 2001, the territory has attracted tens of billions of dollars in foreign investment that have helped transform it into the world's largest gaming center. in 2006, macau's gaming revenue surpassed that of the las vegas strip, and gaming-related taxes accounted for 75% of total government revenue. the expanding casino sector, and china's decision beginning in 2002 to relax travel restrictions, have reenergized macau's tourism industry, which saw total visitors grow to 27 million in 2007, up 62% in three years. macau's strong economic growth has put pressure its labor market prompting businesses to look abroad to meet their staffing needs. the resulting influx of non-resident workers, who totaled one-fifth of the workforce in 2006, has fueled tensions among some segments of the population. macau's traditional manufacturing industry has been in a slow decline. in 2006, exports of textiles and garments generated only $1.8 billion compared to $6.9 billion in gross gaming receipts. macau's textile industry will continue to move to the mainland because of the termination in 2005 of the multi-fiber agreement, which provided a near guarantee of export markets, leaving the territory more dependent on gambling and trade-related services to generate growth. however, the closer economic partnership agreement (cepa) between macau and mainland china that came into effect on 1 january 2004 offers many macau-made products tariff-free access to the mainland. macau's currency, the pataca, is closely tied to the hong kong dollar, which is also freely accepted in the territory.
545,674 (july 2008 est.)
Eastern asia, bordering the south china sea and china
Total: 28.2 sq km
land: 28.2 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Less than one-sixth the size of washington, dc
Conventional long form: macau special administrative region
conventional short form: macau
local long form: aomen tebie xingzhengqu (chinese); regiao administrativa especial de macau (portuguese)
local short form: aomen (chinese); macau (portuguese)
Sources: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
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